How to Negotiate a Car Price
Everyone at one time or another needs to buy a new or used car. Most of us go to the dealership more interested in the car's specifications than in the process of making the purchase. Automobiles are expensive, some are very expensive. This sized negotiation should be approached with care and consideration as there is money to be saved by negotiating well. This article will teach you how to negotiate a car price that you can feel good about.
Research Car Prices
Long before going to a dealership there is a lot of research you can do. There are magazines and on-line resources that will help you narrow the type of car you want. It is also important, once you have two or three viable makes and models, learn what the base price for the car is and how much the dealer is making. Learn what the dealers offer as standard and what are options. Options are always well marked up because this is how the dealer makes his profit. Options are also typically more negotiable than the basic car. Find out where the dealerships are located, especially competitor dealers. Research the difference between this year's, last year's and next year's model.
Pick the Right Salesman
An investment of this size will take some time. When you decide to go to the dealership allow adequate time to meet several of the salesmen or women. You do not have to accept the person who approaches you. You can talk with several until you find one with whom you are comfortable. The salesperson has no authority. He will have to always check with his manager before granting any concession. So his role in the negotiation is to keep it going and act as a messenger between you and the manager. Thus you want someone who can identify with your needs, personal situation, and personality to fight for your proposals. Negotiating is a personal activity and the more personal you can make it the more likely the other side will actually try to bend the "rules" just a little bit more.
Be Honest About What You Want
You will have needs when it comes to the car you want in terms of price range, color preference, and options. Share those needs so the salesman can find you the cars he has that most closely meet your needs. If you play cagey the salesperson may waste of lot of your time showing you cars that aren't right or are too expensive. Time is a commodity. You deserve not to have your time wasted.
Know That The Salesman Is Not on Your Side
In any negotiation communication is essential. You will be hampered in negotiating for a car because you will hardly ever get to meet the manager until you are signing the paperwork. This limits your ability to 'read' how the manager is reacting to your proposals. The salesperson will always try to slant his response to either dissuade you from countering or encourage you to offer a little more. His job is to insulate the manager and get you to the highest price you will pay. He will role play depending on what the manager has told him to manipulate you into. Your job is to recognize these roles and negotiate to your own needs and pay little heed to what the sales person is saying, He is not on your side. He is trying to eke out a living by making commissions.
Know Your Power
Power comes in having options. When you are buying a car you have several options. You can buy new or used. You can purchase now or in the future. You can threaten to take your business elsewhere if you can't make the deal you feel is reasonable. Each of these options gives you the power to walk out of the showroom if you are not satisfied. All the salesman can do is write-off his time spent with you and go on to the next shopper. Use this power to your advantage.
Ask for What You Want
You have two choices. You can let the salesman drive the process or you can take control. Yes, you are in the showroom and he knows where the various offices and people are. But you are a potential customer. You have time constraints, needs and expectations. Once you select a salesperson to work with you should then tell him what you expect in terms of time, communication and assistance. The salesperson is your conduit to the sales manager. Tell him what you need from him. The various model specs, options, option mark-up sheet, information of various maintenance programs and anything else you need to begin considering if you should even deal with this dealer. You can even be so bold as to say that you will work with the salesperson to select the right car for you but then you will require negotiating the actual deal directly with the sales manager.
Depending how soft their sales have been you might be able to get this concession. But unless you ask for what you want you won't have a chance of getting it. Don't accept 'no' from the salesman for something you want or need. Direct him to take the matter to the manager or do it yourself. As a potential buyer they want your business as much or more than you want to make the purchase.
There will come a time when you and the manager cannot agree. If you don't reach this point it means you have not gotten to their best offer. This is when persuasion comes into play. If you have planned well you will know what the car should sell for with the options you want. Now is the time to use that information to persuade the salesman to let you deal directly with the manager to get to the final price. Remember, your power lies in the ability to turn around and walk out the door. They will have lost the opportunity to sell you the car but you can go to the next dealership. You don't even need to stay in the state if you want. When you get before the manager your job is to persuade him to keep you as a customer. You might just ask him what he can offer to do that.